In line with Vanguard’s long-term investing ethos, there are some gaps in the range of offerings available on this brokerage platform. Foreign exchange (forex), futures and cryptocurrency are a few of the asset classes missing from the Vanguard lineup.
Cash Investment Options
Vanguard offers two options for holding cash in your account: a money market fund and certificates of deposits (CDs). The money market fund has a $3,000 minimum investment requirement and averages a 0.01% seven-day SEC yield, with expense ratios ranging from 0.09% to 0.15%.
CDs have a minimum investment requirement of $1,000 and are FDIC insured for up to $250,000. Vanguard currently offers yields ranging from 0.05% to 2.00% for terms ranging from three months to 10 years.
Vanguard Digital Advisor
Vanguard Digital Advisor is a robo-advisor with lower-than-average fees that invests money in one of four Vanguard ETFs, with expense ratios ranging from 0.03% to 0.08%. Though the Digital Advisor is a good fit for younger investors who want a basic investment portfolio and low fees, it lacks certain common features of other robos, like ESG funds or tax-loss harvesting.
To start investing with Vanguard Digital Advisor, you’ll take a quick questionnaire that helps pinpoint your retirement goals, your risk tolerance and your funding needs to meet your goals. This will help the robo-advisor get you invested in the best ETFs for your needs; the program will then automatically rebalance your account over time.
There is a $3,000 minimum enrollment balance for Vanguard Digital Advisor for taxable brokerage accounts, and a $5 minimum enrollment balance for 401(k) accounts.
Vanguard Personal Advisor Services
Investors with larger portfolios should check out Vanguard Personal Advisor Services. It requires a minimum enrollment balance of $50,000 and charges an annual management fee of 0.3% of your balance.
To get started with Vanguard Personal Advisor Services, you will fill out a questionnaire to determine your goals, risk tolerance and funding needs. Once you have completed this step, a financial advisor will contact you so you can work together to create an investment plan and portfolio that is designed for your needs.
If your portfolio is between $50,000 and $500,000, you get access to a team of financial advisors to help you plan. Investors with more than $500,000 invested will be partnered with a specific advisor who stays with them over the long term.
Personal Advisor Services invest your money in one of four Vanguard ETFs, with expense ratios ranging from 0.03% to 0.08%. While the program does not offer tax-loss harvesting, it does provide a service called “MinTax cost basis method,” which helps you identify which asset sales from your portfolio may be eligible for preferential tax treatment.